The Editor-in-Chief, of National Record, Iduh Lawrence Onah has tasked journalists in Nigeria to engage in an ethical investigation of issues concerning the violation of rights of workers, sexual harassment, abuse of rights of people with disabilities, unfair labour or precarious labour practices by employers – whether public or private in the County.
Onah made the call in Abuja on Monday in his welcome remarks at a three days Internal Retreat/Training Workshop on investigative journalism organized by National Record with support from the MacArthur Foundation through Whole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism.
He said that it is important for the media to hold accountable government at all levels, public servants, private organizations, and individuals in positions of authority for their actions and inactions.
According to him, the organization is committed to an open society governed by civilized, democratic, and accountable norms; a society whose governance code is people-driven for a secure and sustainable future.
He averred that the Essence of the program beyond the broad objective of building the capacity of journalists is mainly meant to sharpen the professional instinct of participants in the area of investigative or accountability journalism so that in the end, they will be commissioned to carry out investigation and report on issues affecting the Nations development.
Continuing Onah said “To speak for and defend workers interests; to sustainably serve as a channel through which progressive politics, trade union issues and generally where concerns of vulnerable groups will always receive prime attention.
“Our broad focus under the CMEDIA Project is tracking and investigating labour-related issues, including workplace sexual abuse/harassment; abuse of rights of marginalized groups by public and private entities as well as harmful environmental activities of national and multinational corporations in local communities”.
In his paper presentation on Investigative Reporting, “What should journalists investigate” a Judge from Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism by
Dr. Theophilus Abbah said journalists should avoid being rubber-stamped but rather engage in investigative issues that would correct the wrongs in Society.
Abbah stated that, for an investigative story to add value to society, the journalists must consider the significance of the investigation, unraveling the crime’s impact on the lives of the people, and having the skills and capacity to unravel the crime.
He itemized fraud, conflict of interest, waste and management, murder, organized crimes, cyber crime, drug abuse, sex, and related offenses, and procurement fraud as some of the things journalists should Investigate to put an end to corruption in Nigeria.
He reminded journalists that an investigative story is not a news story, feature, or interview it involves research, digging deep to unravel fraudulent activities in the Country.
Another paper presented during day one of the training was “investigative journalism: Practical Guides to Writing Your Report by Ejekwonyilo Ameh, from Premium Times.
Participants in the three days investigative were drawn from Kogi Benue and Federal Capital Territory Abuja.
The program is supported by the McArthur Foundation through the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) in a 3-year project under the theme: “Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability,” otherwise known as CMEDIA Project.